Her first husband left her and 30 days later married a close friend. A judge determined she couldn't financially provide for the children, and they were better off in a two-parent family.
"All I could do was cry for days," said Anderson, now 54, of Utica, Kansas. "My financial situation was dim. I learned to budget and do without, sell junk and take on small part-time jobs."
She even picked up trash along the roadside and offered to help an elderly neighbor for extra cash.
That was 20 years ago. Today, she is reunited with her three oldest children and happily remarried with two more children. But Anderson has never forgotten how her life was shaken by divorce.
"I learned that things happen to others just like myself, and we can choose to sit and mull over it, or get up and make a difference in our world," said Anderson, who helps her husband run a farm. "Divorce, I found, wasn't the end of the world -- it was just the beginning and I was growing by it."